A vaulting pole has a curve to it naturally and some are pre-bent and mathematically resolved to bend only one way those are the best. When a pole is made we store them upright till it is ready to ship. THE curve stays true by the time you get it.
If the pole is lying flat for more than 3 weeks unsupported it can change its curve and will take you a day jumping and finding the true soft side matched to the curve.
If you have to store them flat, you need to have a flat surface that is supported.
I have seen unsupported storage where the pole lays supported on the ends and in the curved position this will work also if always the same position. Pole can get scratched, and it is best to store in a pole sock, in the plastic sleeve it comes in in a tube with no staple protruding. In a PVC tube, however with no protection on the poles they will scratch each other pulling them in and out. A pole case is good we recommend the PVC corrugated on the outside and smooth in the inside they are available a most Lowes hardware stores or any irrigation supplier.
FiberGLASS Vaulting poles are made of GLASS; they will weaken from a blow by a nick, spike, or edge of a box or standards. A vaulting pole should be caught after every jump practice or competition! The weak spot will not break right away it might take 20 jumps to widen the weak spot to a failure status. We recommend you protect the area that scraps against the back of the box if you really bend the pole. We suggest you jump more to elevate the bending into the back of the box.
I saw Surgey Bubkaâ€™s used poles at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and was surprised to see pole label tape un-scratched at the bottom and no protection. His pole never went against the back of the box. His softer warm up pole had lots of tape to protect it and was scratched really bad.
Adding tape affect the carry weight greatly. See how we measure carry weight.
We suggest you take a 7-up can (giving them advertising /smiles) and cut it out to protect this area tape it on with little tape and you have the lightest pole protector available for real FREE. I used a STP oil additive can, the STP stood for Stop That Pole, Monster can are tall they work good too.
Earl Bell has a clip on PVC protector that is very functional and light weight too. And we have the curly Q protector. It needs to be taped on too.